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Philatelist has a slice of Olympics

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P.S. Mohammed Yakub displays the Beijing Olympics stamp album.
P.S. Mohammed Yakub displays the Beijing Olympics stamp album.

Sangeetha Unnithan

P.S. Mohammed Yakub’s collection is a treasure house of rare postal stamps from all over the world.

Thiruvananthapuram: Apart from the surprise medals India won at Beijing, P.S. Mohammed Yakub has one more reason to relish this Olympics. This veteran philatelist is one of the very few who has in possession the commemorative stamps brought out by the China National Philatelic Corporation to mark the Beijing Olympics.

It was a surprise gift from his son at Dubai that added to the already mammoth stamp collection of this 74-year-old retired DySP. “I am sure I will be the only person in Kerala to have these stamps now,” said Mr. Yakub proudly flaunting the album gifted by his son Ashraf.

The album is among the series of stamps issued in China as part of Beijing Olympics. The collection titled ‘Light The Passion, Share The Dream, 2008 Olympic Stamp Album’ commemorates the Olympics torch relay. It also contains detailed description on the Olympic torch, including its design and history.

Mr. Yakub’s collection is already a treasure house of rare postal stamps from all over the world. Among these are the 22 carat gold stamps from the United States, those of the World War period and the Anchal cards of Travancore and Cochin dating back to the British era. Mr. Yakub also has all the stamps issued by India Post since the year 2000. “I started stamp collection at the age of 13. My paternal uncle initiated me into philately. I compiled my first collection from the mails my uncle used to get,” said Mr. Yakub.

Today he has lost count of his colossal collection. “All I can say is that I now have 45 albums,” he says. Like most experienced philatelists, Mr. Yakub has also accumulated considerable knowledge about various countries through his hobby. That is also one reason why Mr. Yakub religiously pursued this hobby even while he was a police officer. Mr. Yakub won the police medal for meritorious service in 1977.

“Stamp collection is an extremely educating experience. There are many facts that only experienced philatelists know. Like the fact that England is the only country that does not display its name on the stamps issued there. The stamps would nevertheless carry the portrait of the Queen,” said Mr. Yakub.

Mr. Yakub also has some regular contributors now including his son and a close friend in the US. The greatest supporter, however, is his wife Thajunnisa.

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